Lack of sleep is one of the prime concerns for people living the urban areas. It acts as a silent trigger for a wide range of health problems right from a headache and irritation to poor immunity and depression. It is important to get a night of sufficient sleep as it helps the body to build up the immune system and regulate the key hormones essential for the proper functioning of the body.
HEALTH HAZARDS OF INSUFFICIENT SLEEP
The human body needs adequate rest after a day’s mind-boggling work. Studies have shown that a human brain needs about 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If irregular sleep patterns, staying up all night or even 5 hours of sleep a night is becoming a regular way of life for you, then it is a matter of concern. This is because staying up all night like an owl is surely going to affect your health in the long run. Here are some of the common health hazards associated with insufficient sleep:
1. Poor Immunity
During sleep, our immune system produces protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies and cells which are critical for protection against illnesses. If we sleep less, the immune system gets little or no build-up time.
Lack of sleep/insufficient sleep causes major digestion issues. In fact, research says that people with irritable bowel syndrome and sensitive stomachs show increased symptoms the morning after a sleepless night.
3. Risk Of Heart Diseases
A good night’s sleep plays a vital role in building your body’s capacity to heal and repair your blood vessels and heart. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart diseases and even stroke.
For patients with higher risk of hallucinations, sleep deprivation is one of the many causes. Extreme sleeplessness can also increase impulsive behavior, depression, paranoia and suicidal tendencies in some patients.
5. Weight Gain
When you have insufficient sleep, your body tries to compensate for energy loss through more and more food. Sleep deprivation lowers production of the hormone leptin which tell the body that you’ve had enough food. On the other hand it increases production of the hormone ghrelin which is known to be an appetite stimulant thus causing gradual weight gain
Memory loss is another major concern for people who tend to sleep less. Especially students are advised to have adequate sleep in the night to be able to retain the information they have gained.
7. Vision Disorders
To add to all the problems, you can also affect your vision if you have a habit of sleeping less. General issues may revolve around not being able to de-fog your eyes, a feeling like walking around in a haze or difficulty in focusing at an object.
WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
As a lack of sleep can put you at risk of numerous health woes, it is important to get a good night’s sleep to stay healthy and fine. In order to help you sleep like a baby, here are some easy ways that can help you to improve sleep and wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy.
-Say No To Stimulants Before Bedtime
Coffee, cigarettes, alcohol are stimulants that increase brain activity and make it harder to fall asleep leading to insufficient sleep. Hence, do not consume any stimulants atleast 2 hours before bedtime.
-Remove The Gadgets
The light emanating from devices fools the brain into believing that its daytime, making it harder for one to fall asleep. If you are one of the many who uses your smartphone in the dark or watch TV before you sleep, you need to switch off all gadgets atleast 1 hour to 45 minutes before bedtime.
-Fall Asleep When You Feel Tired
The body releases a hormone to induce sleep, and most of us ignore the first sign of sleepiness and push through to the next TV show or the next chapter of a novel. Unfortunately, if you do not fall asleep when the hormone is first realeased, you have to stay up until the second round of hormone is released which generally is anywhere from 45 mins to 180 mins later.
Maintain a consistent bedtime so that your body clock also adjusts accordingly. It is also important to wake up at the same time in the morning even if you went to bed late. You can always use a short nap later.
-Maintain The Right Temperature
The cooler your body is is, the easier it is to fall asleep, if the torso area of your body is overheated, you will find it hard to sleep, so maintain lower temperatures in your bedroom, for a good nights sleep. Temperature between 23-25°C is considered to be ideal for a good night’s sleep.
Most people living in cities, as well as rural areas, are suffering from insufficient sleep. Given the fact that lack of sleep can harm your overall health in the long run, it is imperative to get your daily dose of sleep without fail. Remember a good night’s sleep can not only prevent your from common infections by improving your immunity but also make your kick-start your day on a healthy note by managing your hormonal levels. So make sure you sleep for at least 7-8 hours every day. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!